Mateo’s Story

Mateo and his family got COVID last December. At two years old, he is fighting for his life. His mom Marcela says the virus wiped out her precious son’s immune system … and woke up the cells that are now spreading leukemia through his tiny body.

A few days after the cancer diagnosis, COVID-19 killed Mateo’s grandfather. In a multi-generation household, not only was “Tito” the male head of the family, but he was also a main breadwinner. Marcela, her husband and mother are doing everything possible to maintain a sense of normalcy.

Marcela had no time to grieve. She had to quit her job to quarantine and take Mateo to his chemo treatments. On her last day at work, she called ACFC to see if we could offer any relief.

ACFC immediately jumped in to support the family—providing financial assistance; counseling for Mateo, mom, dad, grandma, and brother.

Mateo’s favorite visits to Ava’s Tree House is time spent with our K9 therapy dog, Leo. You’ll find the two of them snuggled up together looking at books.Three of four of the families we serve live in poverty. And cancer opens a whole new can of worms—time off of work for doctor appointments, mounting medical bills, travel expenses, filling prescriptions, paying utility bills. Their budgets become beyond stretched. ACFC provides emotional, social and financial support to families when they need it the most.

Marcela says “Mateo is doing things that are for grown-ups, like chemo. He shows us how to be strong.” Having playdates at our current mini-tree house means that, for the time being, Mateo can just be a kid.

This is what we do—provide support to the entire family to help ease the burden of coping with a child suffering from cancer. Please join us in supporting kids with cancer.